The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday January 22nd

Sound Glitches Tarnish Concert, Anger Students

The problems plaguing the 2000 Homecoming Concert featuring OutKast left students, musicians and sponsors livid.

Sunday's concert, organized by LeNexus Entertainment, capped off Homecoming Week festivities. Garnering student interest due to the presence of headlining hip-hop act OutKast, the concert also featured local hip-hop acts Tyfu and Sankofa and rock band Gran Torino, based in Knoxville, Tenn.

Despite high expectations, the concert's quality was subpar, said junior philosophy and religion major Karl Schmid.

"I don't know who set it up, whether it was the school or whoever, but they definitely did not do the job they needed," he said. "It was one of the worst sound jobs I've ever heard."

Tyfu producer Jon Hackney, a.k.a. Hack, said the band had sound system problems - inoperable microphones, gratuitous feedback and inaudible background music - and received pressure from the promoters to perform after OutKast, an arrangement that Tyfu deemed unacceptable.

"The equipment wasn't up to par and we were never allowed to do a sound check," Hackney said.

About a half-hour into OutKast's set, the group members expressed their disapproval of the sound and announced onstage that their management had advised them to end their performance and leave the venue.

The sound was corrected after a five minute lull, and OutKast finished its set, but Gran Torino declined to perform after the majority of the audience left following OutKast's performance.

CAA President Tee Pruitt said he received complaints throughout Monday regarding the quality of the show and was displeased with the concert's production.

"Our role was to find a promoter," Pruitt said. "LeNexus is responsible for handling all of the logistics, and their efforts were ridiculously poor."

The CAA began talks in March with LeNexus regarding the concert's production, Pruitt said, and LeNexus took full responsibility for the event afterward.

"We thought it was a good idea to have a big showcase event for Homecoming," Pruitt said. "OutKast seemed perfect because our goal was to draw as many people as possible."

But Pruitt said problems began to arise soon after the CAA reached an agreement with LeNexus. Pruitt claimed the promoters contacted him Nov. 8 with plans to raise student ticket prices from $20 to $23, a proposal Pruitt rejected.

LeNexus Entertainment President Janet Puryear said she had no knowledge of the proposed ticket increase. She said she also lamented the sound system's quality, which was operated by Raleigh-based Rock Quarry Entertainment.

"The sound was horrible, I will agree to that," Puryear said. "We will work very hard in the future to let anything like this happen again."

Puryear said choosing Carmichael Auditorium was a mistake, but the students were promised OutKast, and LeNexus delivered them at a fair price.

Regardless, Pruitt said there are no plans to work with LeNexus in the future. "I can say for sure that we will never have a business relationship with LeNexus again."

The Arts & Entertainment Editor can be reached at artsdesk@unc.edu.


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